Thurston home sales increase in February

Nearly 30 percent jump comes as inventory continues to decline, Northwest Multiple Listing Service data show

rboone@theolympian.comMarch 6, 2013 

The Thurston County housing market continued to show improvement in February, with home sales rising nearly 30 percent in the year-over-year period, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service data released Tuesday.

“I think the real estate recession is in the rearview mirror,” Windermere of Olympia real estate agent Gregory Moe said.

Home sales rose 29.9 percent to 200 units last month from 154 units in February 2012, the combined single-family residence and condominium data show.

Median prices remained stable, inching up 3.8 percent to $219,500 from $211,500 in the same period last year, the combined data show.

Inventory levels, which when low are thought to drive up home prices, fell again in February, down 20.9 percent to 1,034 units from 1,307 units in February 2012.

Moe said that because there are fewer homes to choose from, it has created a sense of urgency among buyers.

The thought of higher mortgage interest rates, too, has stimulated some buyers to act now, rather than wait, he said.

Although the housing market has shown improvement, he still warned that the uncertainty of the local economy as it relates to state government decisions can be somewhat of a wet blanket on the economy. The Olympia area got an example of that this week when the state Employment Security Department announced more layoffs.

Pending sales also rose 2 percent to 352 units last month from 345 units in February 2012, the combined data show.

Thurston homes

Single-family residence data for February 2013/2012

 • Sales rose 30.6 percent to 192 units from 147 units.

 • Prices rose 3.4 percent to $222,225 from $215,000.

 • Pending sales rose 2.4 percent to 342 units from 334 units.

 • Total single-family residences for sale fell to 996 units from 1,254.

 • Number of new single-family listings in February fell to 329 units from 344.

Condo data for February 2013/2012

 • Sales rose to eight units from seven units.

 • Prices fell 7.8 percent to $87,562 from $95,000.

 • Pending sales fell to 10 units from 11 units.

 • Total number for sale fell to 38 units from 53.

 • Number of new condos listed in February fell to seven units from nine units.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 Source: Northwest Multiple Listing Service data

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